Organizational Wellness

15 Example Retirement Messages to Say Goodbye to Your Best Workers

Jul 29, 2023
Last Updated May 23, 2024

Retirement is a huge milestone for employees. Their long career has come to an end! Many folks will be excited about their new chapter — they may plan to travel, relocate, pick up new hobbies, or simply spend more time with their families. But it can still be an emotional time to down tools and say goodbye to their coworkers for the last time.

With that in mind, you’ll want to give people the best send-off, so they remember their time working for you with gratitude and warmth. It's worth being prepared and thinking about messages to share with them when the time comes. Let's dive into what your retirement message could include, and some examples to get the creative juices flowing.


How to Write Personal Retirement Messages

A thoughtful retirement message can help congratulate the retiree on their long-awaited occasion and show them how much they're appreciated. Whether you’re writing an email, card, or note to your retiring colleague or friend, some of key elements to include are:

  • Thanking them for their contributions and hard work.
  • Sharing words of encouragement for the future, to help them look forward to what lies ahead.
  • Reminiscing about career highlights or shared memories.

If you know the person well, or you're writing a message on behalf of the company, you may want to ensure your message reflects how much you value them and their hard work over the years. Consider sharing personal anecdotes from time spent working together, thanking them for everything they have done for you as friends and coworkers. A thoughtful and heartfelt message will go a long way toward showing your appreciation!

You should also consider the circumstances of their retirement and adapt your retirement message to suit. For example, sometimes people may need to retire due to poor health or other challenging circumstances. In these cases, it can be better to opt for a heartfelt message over a congratulatory note. 

Career Reflection Retirement Messages

A heartfelt message may not feel genuine if you do not actually know the retiree well, even though you do wish them the best! In this event, it can be better to keep your message centered on their professional achievements and contributions.

  1. Congratulations on your successful and fulfilling career! We are so grateful for the years you have dedicated to our company.

  1. In all the years you have been with [Company Name], you have made such a difference to our team. Congratulations on your retirement — things won’t be the same without you!

  1. All of us here at [Company Name] want to thank you for your dedication over these many years. Enjoy this new chapter in life!

  1. Sending best wishes as you embark upon retirement from an incredible career filled with success and achievements.

  1. Celebrating the end of one era and the beginning of another, we thank you for all that you have done throughout your professional journey with us. Have a wonderful retirement!

Happy Retirement Messages

Another angle is to focus on what lies ahead instead of looking back at their working past. These example messages share excitement and celebration for their unwritten chapter. They can be an excellent way to help your departing employee feel positive — even in an emotional transition.

  1. Wishing you a retirement filled with joy, relaxation, and contentment! You have been an invaluable asset to our team and company.

  1. Congratulations on your upcoming retirement! We will miss you dearly but we’re so excited for the next chapter in your life.

  1. Happy retirement! May the future bring you more time for the things you enjoy and less for the things you don’t!

  1. Here's wishing you nothing but sunshine and happiness for the rest of your days as you retire from this
professional journeywith us!

  1. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for being such an incredible part of our team throughout these many years - may your future be full of laughter and joy during this new stage in life!

Emotional Retirement Messages

Finally, you might want to share more sentimental messages with your retiring colleague. For example, if you've worked closely with them for a long time, or if they've been a boss or mentor to you, you might have personal memories or anecdotes you associate with them. Again, these example messages can be your starting point — you could then add a couple of standout memories of your time working together.

  1. Working with you over the years has been a pleasure. I'm so grateful for all of our conversations, shared laughs, and moments together. Wishing you health, joy, and peace in your retirement!

  1. Congratulations on this special milestone — I have so many fond memories of working alongside you, and it will be hard to say goodbye as you retire from [Company Name].

  1. You've always been an amazing colleague and brought out the best in everyone around you. Thank you for being a wonderful mentor, friend, and constant source of support throughout these many years! Enjoy every moment of your retirement!

  1. Your dedication to our company has never gone unnoticed — we are truly blessed that we’ve been able to call someone like yourself a team member for all these years! Wishing you lots of happiness in your retirement journey ahead.

  1. Thank you for being a mentor, friend, and one of the hardest-working team members I know. I hope you enjoy a very happy retirement.

Take Care of Your Employees Right up to Retirement

Retirement marks the end of your time with an employee, and you want to send them off right. A kind note and robust retirement benefits are important, but one thing matters more than anything else for somebody entering retirement: Their health. 

You can help employees enter golden years happy and healthy with a workplace wellness program. Benefits like gym memberships, nutrition training, and guided meditation allow employees to look after their mental and physical wellbeing. And they have a noticeable impact on employee health: 85% of HR leaders say implementing a wellness program decreased utilization of sick days and healthcare costs, as revealed in our recent Return on Wellbeing report .

Interested in improving wellness for employees of all ages? Talk to a Wellhub wellbeing specialist today!

Company healthcare costs drop by up to 35% with Wellhub! (* Based on proprietary research comparing healthcare costs of active Wellhub users to non-users.) Talk to a Wellbeing Specialist to see how we can help reduce your healthcare spending!

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Wellhub Editorial Team

The Wellhub Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.


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